Dollars and Cents of My Self-Publishing Experience

I often get asked “what did it cost you to publish your book?”

The answer is, it depends on which edition.

Keep in mind that this is only publishing costs, not writing costs, which included travel, a personal editor, and therapy.

There are two editions of my book. The first one was published through Bookbaby, at a cost of just under $5000 for 150 copies. The inside of the 180-page book was color, because of about 40 photographs I had in it. I sold it for $20, and got back almost $3000 of the printing costs.  Here is the cover for that book:



The second edition was aided and abetted by Sharon Goldinger, whose company, Peoplespeak, has a useful website for the independent publisher.


This book was printed for $4000 for 1000 copies, because it was black and white.  The interior was redesigned and the grammar was brought up to Chicago Manual of Style standards. Also about 80 typos got fixed, and I got ‘blurbs’ from the most famous people I could to promote the book. This is the cover for the AYT Press edition.  

second edition’s cover–see the reviews?

The preparation of this edition cost another $7000, approximately. It includes getting a fictitious business name and creating a website for AYT Press – And ISBN numbers, too.

But I’m proud of the second edition.  Hearing about typos in the first edition from my friends was awful. I tried, really tried, to eliminate all typos, but I just couldn’t do it. Too close to the manuscript I suppose. Also, some people are born proofreaders and I am not one of them. 

So, to summarize.

It cost $5000 to publish my first edition through Bookbaby, and there were typos and I sold the book for more than I wanted to and only had 150 copies printed.

It cost $11000 to publish my second edition through my own publishing company, AYT press, using the services of a ‘book sheperd’ named Sharon Goldinger to help me create my own company and produce a quality product. I would do option 2 over again.



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